Dark Chocolate: An Unexpected Source of Antioxidants and Health Benefits
Who doesn’t love indulging in a delicious treat? Especially when the reward comes with health benefits, too! Dark chocolate, specifically, is surprisingly packed with antioxidants and other beneficial properties. Read on to learn more about the incredible antioxidant benefits of dark chocolate and its overall health benefits.
What are Antioxidants?
Antioxidants are compounds present in certain foods that provide health benefits by fighting off damage-causing free radicals. Free radicals build up in the body due to environmental toxins, stress and processed foods. A diet containing a variety of antioxidants can reduce the risk of some chronic diseases and keep the body’s natural defense systems working optimally.
Antioxidant Benefits of Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate is an excellent source of antioxidants due to its high concentration of polyphenols and flavonoids. Research has found dark chocolate to contain even more antioxidant power than some fruits and vegetables, like blueberries and kale. Studies have also revealed that eating dark chocolate can help reduce inflammation, improve cognitive functioning, and decrease the risk of certain types of cardiovascular diseases.
Overall Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate’s antioxidant benefits are just the beginning. Other health benefits of dark chocolate include improved cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure and a reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Eating dark chocolate can help reduce stress and improve mood as well, thanks to its release of serotonin in the brain.
Enjoy Dark Chocolate Responsibly
It’s important to remember that eating dark chocolate in moderation is the key to reaping its benefits. Eating too much can lead to weight gain, tooth decay and decreased nutrient absorption in the body. For the best health benefits of dark chocolate, aim for only one or two small pieces per day.
When it comes to choosing the right dark chocolate, be sure to find one with a cocoa content of at least 70 percent. Low percentage cocoa dark chocolates contain sugary fillers that negate many of its beneficial properties.
Now you’ve learned about the surprising antioxidant benefits of dark chocolate and its other health benefits. So be sure to indulge in a little dark chocolate now and then – your body and your taste buds will thank you!